By: Fiona Moriarty, Hipmunk
London is a popular destination for tourists but has a reputation for being expensive. Here are some ways of making your stay cheaper whilst having fun in Britain's capital city. This gives you more money to spend on sightseeing, shopping and world-class restaurants in London.
1. Travel Off-Peak
London's transportation system is efficient, but can be confusing. Chill out with breakfast in London"s Melia White House hotel and buy a One Day Travelcard after 9:30 a.m. After three trips, you'll have saved money and seen a lot of London.
2. Visit a Museum
Many of London's museums are free to visit, making them a bargain for visitors. Try the British Museum, with displays of Egyptian mummies, or the Victoria and Albert Museum, which is famed for its costumes, ceramics and other decorative arts.
3. Ride a Boris Bike
Want a free ride? If you stay at one of London's hotels such as Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes you'll be near Boris Bike stands- an incredibly convenient way to get around. These are part of London's public transport system -- named after former London mayor Boris Johnson. You'll need a credit card deposit, but you get 90 minutes free cycling through London. Try Hyde Park or The Mall for a scenic route. When you finish, simply deposit the bike in one of the many racks around town.
4. See a Parade
London does pageantry well with marching bands and traditional parades. There's the Trooping of the Colour in June for the Queen's birthday and the Lord Mayor's Show in November, a traditional British pomp and circumstance parade with carnival elements. These are both free to watch in the streets, but do book a hotel in London well in advance. You should also check out the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, which takes place nearly every day and is free for visitors to watch.
5. Listen to a Free Concert
London has several venues where visitors can catch a free concert. Try St Martin in the Fields at lunchtime for some beautiful classical recitals. St James Church in Piccadilly is another good venue for classical music concerts.
6. Tour London for Free (Or Almost Free)
Many walking tours of London are free. Ask the concierge at your hotel, as there's likely to be a free, or reasonably priced, walking tour nearby. Show up at the advertised time and pay what you think the tour is worth. There are tours for every taste. Check out tours of royal London and the old city, seek out tours of haunted locales or discover the stomping grounds of the world's first serial killer with Jack The Ripper tours. See some of the unusual aspects of the city as well as the famous sights tourists adore.
7. Go Walking
One of the best ways to see London is to walk. Start from Westminster Bridge where you can explore the parliament area and head towards St Paul's Cathedral on the Thames Path. You'll have some amazing views of the London skyline and see many of the famous buildings in the city. London is an amazing city to get to know, especially when you can explore it cheaply.
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